Puppies are so cute, don't you just want to cuddle them all the time? Those cute doeful eyes, the hug me body language, the puppy aroma but what is the reality? Sleepless nights, bites, scratches, chewed furniture, cleaning up wee and poop constantly, not so cute at 3am when they are crying for a wee and your attention.
What you have to remember is this is short term, with the right advice and training you will have a super adult dog.
Think of it like this...........you have taken a puppy away from its mother, siblings and surroundings its used to and happy in, to a strange place with strange people with no protection from its mother and siblings. Yes you love that puppy already and you will give it the best life but right now it doesn't know that. They are scared, untrusting, feeling abandoned and alone. So you have to gain the pup's trust and love, let them investigate, let them get used to their new home. Don't overwhelm them, give them time and space but at the same time let them know you are loving and caring. You will soon become their new family that they love and trust. Stay positive and calm, the pup picks up on this very quickly, if they have an accident ignore it and deal with it calmly.
So on This Morning TV last week a vet gave advice on what to do with a new puppy, this caused an uproar because the advice given was very outdated. Vets are great at dogs health but there are so many new studies on behaviour now that it's too hard for a vet to keep up with that and the biology side. We now have access to dog physios, hydrotherapists, dog behaviourists, dog trainers of all types and the list goes on. So the Vet told This Morning that you should leave the puppy to cry in the crate or bed at night and ignore it, even if it goes on all night, you should never go to the puppy as it will learn. Well dog behaviour studies have proven that this is how seperation anxiety can start in a dog and other issues.
So to prove this statement is true this is my real life experience...............when I got my Rottie pup 9 years ago I didn't know dogs like I do now and I took a vets advice of the above. Queenie had terrible seperation anxiety issues to start with, she would cry for ages so I started to give her a filled kong which she would fall asleep with. Then she started messing in her crate even though I was letting her out in the middle of the night. She was happy with her crate and gladly go in it with food, treats and toys, she was worse at night though. So after gettting advice from her dog trainer from puppy class I let her upstairs on her own bed where she could see me. She would wake me if she needed the toilet but most of the time she went to sleep and never moved. I then gradually moved her out of my room and downstairs and never had an issue since.
With my 18 month old puppy I tried a different tack. The very first night she was in a crate in my room where she could see me, I turned the side lamp on low and settled myself, she then got herself comfy and went to sleep. She woke me to go out to toilet and that was it. For the next week she slept there with the light off then I moved her downstairs with the other dogs only to get up to let her out to wee. She has never had any toilet issues or accidents, no anxieties and she was such a calm pup.
Some people are adamant that the dog isn't going upstairs, this is only for a week at the most for something that could affect your dog for life. If you want to sleep downstairs with the dog for a few nights until the pup gets used to its new home, feeling loved, confident and trusting you.
What you do with your pup in those first few weeks and months is crucial to how it turns out to be as an adult. You will go 2 steps forward and 3 back sometimes but dogs are clever and they pick up your body language. I never train my dogs if I am in a bit of a mood after a bad day, as it is not effective for either of us. I get a coffee and calm myself down get a dog cuddle then I am ready to go. Set them up for success all of the time and always end a trainng session on something they are good at.
My next blog will follow up on this............